Bouwahjgie Nkrumie betters Usain Bolt in never-before-seen feat in 100m

The 19-year-old has achieved what no other Jamaican athlete has ever managed at the junior level.

·4-min read
Bouwahjgie Nkrumie, pictured here becoming the first Jamaican junior athlete to go under 10 seconds in the 100m.
Bouwahjgie Nkrumie is the first Jamaican junior athlete to go under 10 seconds in the 100m. Image: World Athletics/Getty

Bouwahjgie Nkrumie is the talk of the athletics world after achieving what no other Jamaican sprinter has ever achieved before him. On Thursday, the 19-year-old became the first Jamaican and third athlete ever to run under 10 seconds in the 100m as a junior.

Nkrumie posted a time of 9.99 seconds (+0.3 wind assisted) to win gold at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association boys and girls championships in Kingston. He joined Letsile Tebogo (9.91) and Trayvon Bromell (9.97) as the only juniors to go under 10 seconds in the event after Tebogo achieved the feat in 2022 and Bromell did likewise in 2014.

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However Nkrumie is the first Jamaican to produce the rare milestone - an incredible achievement considering the Caribbean nation boasts the likes of Olympic heroes Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Johan Blake. Nkrumie is also the only man in the world (of any age) to produce sub-10-second time this year, with China's Zhenye Xie (10.05) and Mouhamadou Fall (10.06) going close.

The 19-year-old's previous personal best was 10.02 (+0.3 wind). Nkrumie won silver in the event at the under-20 world championships in Colombia last year, as well as helping Jamaica finish second in the men's 4x100m relay.

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After posting a time 10.51 to win his heat, Nkrumie ramped things up with a 10.08 in the semi-finals, which broke the previous Jamaican junior record set by Zharnel Hughes in 2014. His historic run in Thursday's final means he automatically qualifies for the athletics world championships, to be held in Budapest in August.

“I can’t explain the feeling right now. I can tell you, now, it was not easy to do. It will only get better from here,” Nkrumie said after the race.

“Felt good throughout the rounds but I wasn’t pleased with the execution in the final again. That’s what affected me last year but I promise you I will get it together at the right time.

Bouwahjgie Nkrumie, pictured here after winning silver at the under-20 world athletics championships in 2022.
Bouwahjgie Nkrumie (L) after winning silver at the under-20 world athletics championships in 2022. (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)

“The journey has been rough to be honest, but if only some athletes in high school had the mindset that I have, they’d be so fantastic. But, as I said, I’m happy to achieve this time and it’s only going to get better from here."

The Kingston College runner is now vowing to go even faster. “Let’s see. The season is long," he said about what comes next. "With the way my coach planned out this season, you will definitely see me run faster down the line.”

Athletics fans and commentators were left in awe over Nkrumie's heroics on Thursday, with many predicting he'll do big things in the future.

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